Walking With Drake

One Mother's perspective on autism.

From Drake

These are Valentine cards and candies from Drake's preschool class. They had a little party yesterday and he came home with a whole bag full of goodies. 

The reason I'm sharing this with you all is I did not buy candy or any Valentine's for his classmates. I bought some cookies for the party and I even stopped by for the last few minutes. 

But, I didn't buy any little favors such as these for the kids. I feel horrible. Want to know when I remembered that I should have? Approximately 10 minutes ago. Today, the day AFTER Valentine's Day. 

Now, before you start telling me that it's okay and it's easy to forget...yada, yada...blah blah....

Let me explain.

I didn't buy any Valentine gifts for these kids because Drake didn't remind me.  I know that sounds silly. I mean technically, he can't tell me because he is non-verbal.  Let me explain further..

He didn't run and jump in the car Monday afternoon full of glee about running to Wal-mart and buying cute little Valentine cards for his friends.  He didn't announce loudly last week that he has a cute girl at school that he wants to buy a bear for.  He never once told me that he wanted me to make cupcakes, instead of buying cookies.  

He didn't tell me any of those things because he is non-verbal.  He also didn't tell me because he doesn't care.  It was just another day for Drake.  It was probably a bit more fun and he most likely wondered why the schedule was  different and why so many people were in and out.  However, I can guarantee you, he did not care.  Don't get me wrong, I believe Drake understands things when they are explained to him.  He is quite capable of learning and is very intelligent.  Just the same, all holidays, birthdays, and the like are not important to him.  He likes things to be in order, simple, and has no interest in the material things of life.  He shows his love and appreciation for others by touching their face with is hand, or leaning in for a hug.  Giving someone a Valentine would seem completely ridiculous in his 'old soul' little mind. 

However, that really doesn't give me any right to just forget, does it?  No, absolutely not. You better believe that these kids are going to get a flipping amazing Easter baggie full of all kinds of goodies.  Yet, I almost wanted to laugh earlier when I realized that I forgot to buy a bunch of cute little kids Valentine's Day cards.  Drake is influencing me in so many ways...mostly for the good.  You see, I don't find all those material things as important anymore either.  Our lives are different and most of the time that makes me smile. 

Our lives our crazy and it is  amazing that I am able to get dressed and look half way acceptable in the mornings.  We spend most of our time in the car.  We drive long distances every single day and have for more than two years.  The past couple of months, no matter what I'm doing, I'm always thinking of the impending doom of Kindergarten coming up in just a few months. I'm crazy.  Seriously, folks....it's amazing what I can do considering my level of sanity.  So, forgetting to make Valentine cards for his class is actually perfectly understandable.

To all the parents in Drake's preschool class who made these adorable Valentine's with their child for mine, thank you.  They are all precious.  One of you made some chocolate covered popcorn...can I just say.."you go girl."  That stuff was the bomb dot com. Seriously, I ate the whole bag. I offered Drake some and he turned his nose up, more for me!  

We live a different life and I can either cry because my kid doesn't care about what other kids care about...or I can enjoy it all to the best of my ability.  Drake may be different but if you really knew him....if you really understood him like I do, you would realize that his different should be a goal for us all. 

Happy day after Valentine's Day!  


The Mom who forgot
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